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California brain surgeon pleads not guilty to sex charges

SANTA CRUZ, California. – A California brain surgeon pleaded not guilty Friday to 10 misdemeanor charges accusing him of sexually assaulting two boys and a girl under 14 years of age as part of a child sex ring with seven victims.

James Kohut entered the plea in a Santa Cruz County court, the associated press reported . His lawyer, Jay Truth, declined to comment, the newspaper said.

Kohut remains in custody, but the state of the medical council has asked a judge to block him from the practice of medicine.

Kohut was arrested in the framework of an investigation into child sex, which also led to two nurses, Emily Stephens and Rashel Brandon.

Watsonville police say a resident in May, she gave a video recording of March of the two nurses having sex with children as young as 3 years old in a motel.

Court documents say Kohut had sex with two guys in the presence of the nurses. The children are placed in protective custody, Watsonville police Capt. Jorge Zamora said.

It was not clear whether Stephens had a lawyer. She remains in custody in Tucson, Arizona, after her arrest on 12 May on six felony child abuse against three children under the age of 10 and three children under 14, the Sentinel reported.

Police arrested Brandon on May 9 in Watsonville.

A call to her lawyer, public defender Anthony Robinson, was not immediately returned. Brandon, the brother of Isaac Lynn of San Jose, told the Sentinel his family is the support of Brandon.

“The family is coping,” said Lynn. “All the members of the family love her for who she is.”

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Information: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com

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